Yes, I said it! And Yes, we did it! We cut our cable cord on our road to financial freedom through frugality. This is all part of our grand scheme to shake the shackles of American consumerism so that we can live a fabulous life on less.
Thinking About Cutting The Cord…For Years
Let me start by saying that I recognized for YEARS how little TV I actually watched each week. If anything, I mostly watched recorded shows from my DVR in the evenings. There were many times over the past decade that I would go for one solid week without even turning the TV on. That was before I had the Mini Monster, of course.
Leading Up To The Cut
I’m not going to lie. As I stated above, it took me years, and I mean years, to make this happen. It was almost like jumping off of a diving board for the very first time in your life. I would think about it. I would stand on the board filled with terror as I peered down into the vast blue abyss of the swimming pool. Then, I would run back to my blanket and swear I would jump next time I went swimming. Yep. That was me. All in all, it probably took me five whole years to warm up to the idea of taking the cord cutting plunge.
Finally, my decision was made. Sort of. A few months ago I swore to myself that I would call on Friday before I left work to cancel our service. I think two Fridays came and went and it slipped my mind and we still had cable. After all, you can’t exactly cancel your cable in the middle of the week. It just seemed wrong to me. 😛 But then, I REALLY committed. I was going to do it the NEXT Friday. And I did.
The Day I Made The Call
I set an alarm on my phone for Friday afternoon. The alarm went off…and I followed through. It was surprisingly easy, and the cable company, despite what I thought, didn’t put up too much of a fight. We had one week to return the equipment before we would be charged. I held onto that equipment for the entire week! I think it was a bit emotional for me to actually admit that we were doing this. It was nice to know that, at any point, I could call the cable company and have our service reinstated. Then I realized that it had been almost one full week, and I didn’t miss it at all. I didn’t miss it AT ALL! The next day (the following Friday) I threw the equipment into my car and returned it on my lunch break at work. Done.
Ceasefire – No More Advertisements
An unexpected benefit is the cessation of constant unnecessary advertising for products we don’t need. Mini Monster has stopped asking for this stupid toy and that dumb game every time she sees a commercial during an episode of Spongebob Squarepants (her favorite!).
A funny thing happened this morning. I was at my desk at work and a colleague stopped by to ask if I started Christmas shopping for Mini Monster yet. I immediately chuckled and said, “No.” However, I did admit to starting to think about it. I like to enjoy each holiday and don’t like jumping ahead. This year I’m focused exclusively on the wedding until October 25th. Then, we’re going full steam into Halloween. We always host Thanksgiving…Mmmmm…I can smell the turkey already! Black Friday starts my Christmas season. So, NO, I have not started shopping for Christmas yet. She proceeded to tell me how her daughter (just about the same age as Mini Monster) wants this and that. And then she asked what my daughter wants. It was like a ton of bricks hit me on the head. And it hurt! …in a good way! Mini Monster wasn’t asking for anything. In fact, I haven’t heard her request anything new that had contaminated her little noggin’ from televised marketing since we cut the cord! Victory! A victory we had not even recognized until that generic water cooler conversation today.
It’s funny how you don’t even notice all of the benefits of each frugal change until something like a simple chat with a co-worker opens your eyes.
Mr. Mad Money Monster and I have not noticed a difference in our lives at all. Mini Monster is completely unaware that a change has even taken place. She likes a few shows that are easily found on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Yes, in addition to streaming Netflix, we also have Amazon Prime for the free shipping benefits. It saves us from driving our car to various stores for items we can just have shipped to our house. It not only saves us money; it also saves us time. This is valuable time that we can choose to spend taking family hikes or roasting marshmallows, as opposed to shopping at the mall for new socks.
Suffice it to say, we are not sports fanatics so we are not feeling any regret in that department. My concern is watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade (an annual Must-Have tradition while the turkey is in the oven) and making sure to catch stuff like the presidential debates. So far I’ve been able to stream the debates. I’m hoping the same holds true for the parade! I’ll keep you posted!
When I want to watch stuff on TV these days, I fire up our DVD player with built-in apps like you see below. We typically end up watching television series on Netflix. We finished every episode of Breaking Bad (Wow, was that ever good. How did I miss that when it was on?!) in one month. It would be midnight on a work night and I would say, “Just one more.” You know what I’m talking about! Last week we finished up the latest season of House of Cards. We’re currently entertaining ourselves with Orange is the New Black. This is great programming, people.
I had no idea how financially freeing one simple change could make me feel. We are savings almost $100/month! That is one step closer to living a fabulous life on less. Living a fabulous life on less = not having to work for The Man (or Woman)! C’mon you can do it. Peer pressure is a great thing in a blog like this!
Yeah, it feels THAT good. Have you done it? Tell us your Cut The Cord story!